Are you asking about a brokerage that offers rebates to the buyers? Are you talking about the buyer who comes to the open house, or asks you to show them property, only to go to a rebate company as a buyer agent? That is the only discount scenario I can assume you mean on the buy side. I am in NJ and rebates are against the real estate code here, although legislation has been introduced to change that.
I believe in honest pay for honest work and do not ethically or morally support a seller and a seller agent paying a commission to a buyer agent if the buyer agent does not fulfil the work expected. The seller and seller agent discuss commission at the time of a listing contract. The co-op compensation is predicated upon the fact that certain duties and work will be performed. MLS rules were written without consideration of the various forms of new business models. Many of the MLSs will need to update their rules to recognize variations of compensation that are reasonable, ethical, fair and legal given the developments of non-traditional brokerages. A free market society is a great thing, and new business models will bring both positives and negatives. Consumer choice is fine. Taking payment for work not performed is not fine; itâ€™s dishonest. When a buyer agent does not perform their duties, it is a violation of both the seller and the seller agent. Exploitation is wrong.
I will accept a buyer who comes to an open house, from any source, and recognize their buyer agent. This would include any discount broker/rebater. My complaint with discounters or lazy full service agents is only if I am expected to do their work for them. I donâ€™t consider allowing a buyer to tour my open house a fact of me doing their work for the buyer agent, whether they come from a discounter or a full service traditional brokerage. I welcome all buyers to come to my open house. I advise them I am the sellers agent and working on behalf of the seller. I provide them a written disclosure on agency relationships. Then I ask the buyer whatever questions I think are reasonable about their intentions, motives and capabilities. I have already disclosed my role as sellers agent, so I am now free to ask away.
I do not accept that same buyer, post open house, contacting me to open the home for inspectors, appraisers, and follow up visits. Nor do I accept the buyer calling me for information for comps, or answers to questions that should be directed to the buyers agent. Unfortunately, for listing agents in this predicament, they often absorb the buyer agent duties in order to make the sale work for their seller. I consider the pawning off of buyer agent duties on the listing agent as theft by deception. It may not meet the legal definition, but it meets my ethical definition.
We do not have rebates in NJ. I have worked opposite on a transaction of agents who were less than diligent in their efforts and have had to pick up the ball as a result. :( We have all been there. I anticipate, in the near future, that we will see changes in how compensation is defined in MLS. Previously, â€˜dutiesâ€™ have not been defined, as we all assumed we knew what a buyer agent would do. Maybe, we can no longer make that assumption. Maybe we need to now spell out this is what you get paid for doing X.
Yes, I still welcome all to my open house.